web analytics

A broad church

Written By: - Date published: 10:39 am, April 17th, 2011 - 36 comments
Categories: history, labour, Maori Issues - Tags:

TVNZ reports that Ratana elders are unhappy with Labour over its list MP rankings for the election:

Labour list insults Ratana Church

The Labour Party’s list is under fire again, this time from Maori.

A senior official within the influential Ratana Church is calling for its members to abandon Labour in response to the lowly ranking of it’s [sic] candidates.

Senior Ratana minister Kereama Pene has launched a stinging Facebook campaign against what he sees as Labour’s list insult. He said on the social networking site: “Every Ratana should show their total disgust and abandon Labour forever.” “I think that we have to wake up and we have to realise the situation we’re in with Labour. The Labour and Ratana alliance probably died long ago, but our faith kept us in there,” the minister told ONE News. …

It’s understood that some in the highest levels of the church are disappointed.

Ratana sanctioned Soraya Peke-Mason has contemplated resigning over her lowly 55th ranking on the Labour list. However, she has decided to stay but said Labour has to stop taking Ratana and it’s 60,000 followers for granted.

This is bad news for Labour of course, which has always stressed its long and effective relationship with the Ratana Church. Phil Goff should be putting relationships with the Church back on the front burner right now. Even though their influence in the Maori electorates is obviously declining, the Ratana Church are old friends, and Labour cannot afford to let their relationship wither.

If Church members follow Pene’s advice to abandon Labour, then it seems likely that Hone Harawira’s new party (or perhaps the Greens) would be the beneficiary. I certainly can’t see long term Ratana supporters flocking to National or the abundantly right wing Maori Party.

And if there is any silver lining in this cloud for Labour, perhaps it is this. In an odd way it reinforces the fact that Labour is a broad church. A party of the people, of ordinary people from all walks of life. The list has to reflect the interests of the economically disadvantaged, of the powerful but shadowy union lobbies (!), of the gaggle of gays, of the straight shootin’ West coasters, of the ivory tower academics and teachers, of the Ratana Church Maori and other Maori whatever their beliefs, of everyone left behind or disgusted by National’s pandering to the wealthy and inability to face the future. That’s why there is so much interest in, and very active criticism of Labour’s list. Because so many people, from so many diverse backgrounds, care.

I doubt that there will be similar interest in National’s list. That party represents the interests not of people, but of money. It’s a much simpler task.

36 comments on “A broad church ”

  1. Monty 1

    if you think that Labour are able to appeal to a wider audience then you are are sadly delusional and mis-guided.  Labour at present are appealing only to their baseline supporters, they are disfunctional and leaderless.

    Damian O’Connor said the Labour Party was controlled by self-serving unionists and a gaggle of Gays.  If that is the frustrated word coming from the inside, then what do you think the public perception is going to be?  Labour’s current polling is a reflection of the limited representation.

    • toad 1.1

      Damien O’Connor is a homophobe and a perennial under-achiever for Labour.  He is part of the problem, Monty, not a part of the solution – not that you want to see a solution.

      As a Green, the prospects of going into Government with Goff and his crew are becoming extremely remote for me.

      Unless, of course, the disaffected Labour vote rally behind the Greens and whatever political vehicle Hone Harawira comes up with, rather than just stay at home as they have done in the past when they have been pissed off with Labour.

      And I wish David Parker would front up and challenge the bumbling Goff. Parker increasingly impresses me as a potential Leader of integrity and commitment to what Labour should represent, but for some reason doesn’t seem to have the ambition for his Party to be in Government come November, which I think he only among there caucus would have a chance of achieving.

      • PeteG 1.1.1

        Maybe Parker thinks he needs to win an electorate first before he has enough credibility to try for leadership. I don’t have a problem with party leader coming from the list, especially PM, they have enough to do without attending to electorate affairs.

  2. Afewknowthetruth 2

    The parlous state that NZ is now in is largely due to:
    1.Political parties that lost their way long ago and serve global corporate interests.
    2. Churches that lost their way long ago and are chasing Mammon.

    3. Mass media that were subverted to serving global corporate interests long ago.

    TVNZ, Ratana Church, Labour. One short item that lists examples of all three. What fun!

    Peak oil, unravelling of fiat currencies, economic collapse, religious deceit, social collapse, environmental collapse:  the game is almost over.


  3. Anne 3

    Is he doing a Damien O’Conner? He seems to have his facts a bit askew. As far as I understand there are two high profile candidates who belong to the Ratana Church – Louisa Wall and Tirikatene-Sullivan.

    Labour is a very broad based party now and affiliation to a church, a union or some other specialised group is no guarantee of an electable position. Contrary to the claims of some uninformed media commentators there are some very talented people coming through on the list, and that will become  apparent as time goes on.

    • Agreed Anne.  Louisa was selected for the ultra safe Manurewa seat and Tirikatene-Sullivan is number 45 on the list and should have an excellent choice of winning the Te Tai Tonga seat.

  4. PeteG 4

    How much representation should a minor church have in one political party?
    There are more Hindhus, Buddhists, Pentecostals, Baptists, Methodists, Catholics and Anglicans than Ratanas – how many should each of them be represented by?
    Of about 2.2m religious people there are about 52,000, or about 2% Ratanas.

  5. Bill 5

    The reality is that the relationship with Ratana is contrived these days. Labour don’t reflect the concerns of the Ratana congregation any more than they do the concerns of their wider erstwhile ‘natural’ constituency.
    Insofar as the Ratana congregation offer a reasonable cross section of what would formally have been taken as the ‘natural’ Labour constituency, why should Ratana remain within the Labour fold when the wider Labour constituency has been abandoning the party?
    Labour cannot go on exploiting voter expectations that are based on a Labour Party of yesteryear. Or taking taking the votes that flow from those expectations for granted.
    Labour have a choice. Fuck up and get back to acting from their (since the 80’s) ostracised moral center, or Ph Goff. (Unfortunately, they seem to have chosen the latter)

  6. Craig Glen Eden 6

    So Bill what are the concerns of the Ratana Congregation? Please do tell because unless you can the rest of your post is total bullshit.

    • Adele 6.1

      Teenaa koe, Craig

      There is nothing wrong with Bill’s critique, on the contrary, he obviously understands that the Ratana congregation is simply a maaori-cosm of a larger un-ease directed at the Labour Party. 

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    I assume that Soraya Peke-Masonis in a safe Labour seat? If so, then this is just another matter of an ego-maniacal sense of self-entitlement.

  8. Tigger 8

    When did a Facebook post become news? This is just embarrassing journalism.

    • Tigger: News is where something of interest happens. If it happens on Facebook then poor journalism would be ignoring it because it happened on Facebook.

  9. If Ratana – or any religion or group – want a high place on any party list they must earn it by the actions, activism and loyalty of members who are also committed to the party concerned. Any group expecting something of great value just because of who they are, without putting in the long hours SHOULD expect to be disappointed…..not rewarded.   

    I have no idea whether Ratana meets this standard or not. But any party handing out list placings to “place holders” would be cutting their own throat in the long run. The amount of potential new dead wood that can be tolerated is particularly limited if a party is already over-supplied with it.  

  10. This difficulty that poor, poor Labour is having *sniff* could easily be avoided, you know.

    Let your members rank your list. Then you could turn to Ratana, oir anyone else, and say “if you don’t like it, here’s a membership form. If you’re already a member, then what’s your problem with democracy, buddy?”

    Problem solved.

    But it’s not going to happen, is it? Not in Labour or in any party other than the Greens (who then pervert the whole thing with quotas, but kudos for getting further than anyone else I guess).

    Vested interests rule, okay.

    • toad 10.1

      That’s the Green approach, Rex.  And it gets results.

      After getting a bollocking from the Party membership over their vote last year on the first Canterbury recovery Bill, I suspect that if the Green MPs had voted for the CERA Bill, several of their sitting MPs would have been demoted to unelectable positions by the Green membership in the list ranking process.

      But the Labour MPs could still vote for it, despite their speeches opposing it, because there is little internal democracy in that Party and their membership cannot hold their MPs to account.

      • Just get rid of your quotas then, toad, and I might fly back to vote for you 😀

      • mickysavage 10.1.2

        Oh Toad

        Labour has four senior MPs down in Christchurch.  Each day they deal with the basic problems like people not having water, or sewerage, or somewhere to live or they are living in a house that is crumbling around them.

        The MPs have been really staunch and have been working way beyond the call of duty.

        Christchurch residents do not want to know about the constitutional issues.  They just want their city rebuilt.

        If I was to vote on CERRA then I would drive a stake through its heart before voting against it but the Christchurch MPs perhaps through sleep deprivation or constipation or not having had a shower in a while see things differently.  I do not live in Christchurch so their view should be given a considerable amount of weight.

        Labour could have voted against the Bill and it would have still have been passed and Labour would have been bashed around the head with its “lack of sympathy”.  Perhaps we can reserve judgment until when Labour regains power and then see what they do to CERRA’s clearly excessive powers.

    • Lindsey 10.2

      Labour members do rank the list. Every person on the Moderating Committe is a dedicated Labour member representing, or having been elected by a section of the Party to do the best for the whole Party in the ranking of the list. It is fine for boutique parties to send the list out to the wider membership, but in a broader based party like Labour, a Moderating Committee is a good way to have the wider picture. When I was 53 on Labour’s list in 1999, I wasn’t chucking my toys out of the cot and pretending it was an insult to the groups I campaigned within. If they do not have the political discipline, they are more harm than good.

      • Care to share how many paid-up members in Labour, nationwide, Lindsey? Last figure I heard was round 40,000. Are you seriously suggesting that, in this day and age of advanced communications, collecting the votes of 40,000 people is an impossible task?

        And what you see as – heaven help us – “discipline” (seems there was plenty of that when Helen ran things), others may see as unthinking compliance with the will of an elite.

        But by all means continue to run a “closed shop”. It gives those “boutique” parties a strong point of difference with which to recruit new members who like the idea that they’ll be more than just a cog in the machine. Which may be why their memberships are rising while Labo(u)r parties’ the world over are falling.

        As Toad points out, it’s not just about a once-every-three-years exercise – Green MPs actually had to stop and think about what members might do to them if they voted for the CERA. It’s not as good as having to stop and think what an electorate might do, but it’s the next best thing.

  11. beelezubbles 11

    Hang on a minute, I thought you lot got outraged when a church supports a political party? You didn’t like the Brethren, are the Ratanas any less crazy?

    • r0b 11.1

      Nah, we get outraged when a church conspires with a political party to break electoral law.

      So do the public, which is why Don Brash had to resign in disgrace.

      Let me know when Ratana does anything half so corrupt and stupid.

      • beelezubbles 11.1.1

        Remind me exactly which part of electoral law they broke, rob? The Brethren’s leaflet drop was perfectly legal. Why do you think Labour passed a botched law to try and make it illegal in future? But since you’re so strict on electoral law I presume you ditched Labour when they broke it to the tune of $800,000?

        • Draco T Bastard

          Remind me exactly which part of electoral law they broke, rob?

          The part where it says that political parties aren’t allowed to coordinate their electioneering with third parties which the emails in The Hollow Men proved that National had been doing.

          • beelezubbles

            And which bit in the Electoral act current at the time was that? Quote please…

            • mickysavage

              Um the bit that said that National should not spend any more than $1.5million or so.  The law did not say that National could go to a cult religious group and get them to spend a further $1m but it was clearly what was intended and the EFA was enacted as a result.  If you are going to have a money limit then you have to apply it to fringe third parties.

              • beelezubbles

                Still not a quote from the law micky. Why can none of you find this rule that you are so sure is in there? The limit is for spending in favour of  a particular party, by name. If a third party promotes your party, it comes off your spending total. If it is advertising about election *issues*, without telling you who to vote for, it does not count. This was the law. National did nothing illegal, it is dishonest to keep pretending they broke these imaginary clauses that didn’t exist.

                • The use of EB to avoid the spending cap was clearly outside the intent of the law but arguably not outside the letter of the law.  That is why a law change was required.

                  • beelezubbles

                    The intent of the law was clearly to let third parties say what they want about *issues* as long as they don’t promote a particular party. The EB said what they thought about the issues, they didn’t promote National. The law wasn’t broken in intent or in letter. The EFA was not clarifiying the intent of the law, it was changing it. For the worse, that’s why it got shouted down in protest. The only one who broke the intent and letter of the law was Labour’s 800k overspend. But that doesn’t seem to bother you for some reason.

                    • r0b

                      Very gallant of you to fight this rearguard action against the tide of history bb.  But the public passed judgement on the case. That’s why was Don Brash forced to resign in disgrace. And arguably it’s why he lost the 2005 election.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The only one who broke the intent and letter of the law was Labour’s 800k overspend.

                      I’ve had this discussion with burt and you’re as wrong as he is.
                      NZ operates under Common Law which essentially means how the law has been interpreted previously. The AG changed the interpretation. He got away with doing so because the law hadn’t been up before a court, despite being in place for more than 10 years, and so he managed to set precedent. That change in interpretation after so long is what caused the need for the retrospective legislation because without that our government for the previous decade or more would have been illegal as every single party had used that law under the previous understanding and just imagine what that would have meant in terms of constitutional crisis. Every single budget and every single law passed for over a decade struck out.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I always thought that what National did was also outside the letter of the law. It was quite specific in that political parties were not allowed to coordinate their electioneering with third parties and National did coordinate with the EB (and a number of other parties) as shown by the emails in The Hollow Men.

                    An unregistered promoter may not enter into an agreement, or enter into an arrangement or understanding, with any other person for the purpose of circumventing the maximum amount prescribed in section 204B(1)(d).

                    Being the relevant piece of the law. I believe the coordination that National engaged in with the EB skirted a few other portions of the law as well.

  12. dave 12

    Parker should have rolled Goff in 2009. Phil Goff doesn’t run a Goffice now, he runs a Goffin.

  13. seeker 13


    National did not pay the GST on their broadcasting allocation in the 2005 election, approx.$400.000 I believe, but it was spun under the carpet as per usual. This was really breaking the law.


  14. Swampy 14

    Why the Ratana church has slavishly stuck with Labour I will never understand, the Labour Party of today is not that of the 1930s with which their founder did the deal.

    The rankings would appear to be an accurate reflection of about where the church should be and a broad hint to its leaders about the relevance of them to the party (and vice versa). Maybe they will take the hint.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Better care for babies with tongue-tie
    Babies born with tongue-tie will be assessed and treated consistently under new guidelines released by the Ministry of Health, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Around 5% to 10% of babies are born with a tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, in New Zealand each year. At least half can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison over
    The prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison is over, with all remaining prisoners now safely and securely detained, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. The majority of those involved in the event are members of the Mongols and Comancheros. Five of the men are deportees from Australia, with three subject to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Pre-departure COVID-19 test for travellers from the UK and the US from 15 January
    Travellers from the United Kingdom or the United States bound for New Zealand will be required to get a negative test result for COVID-19 before departing, and work is underway to extend the requirement to other long haul flights to New Zealand, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. “The new PCR test requirement, foreshadowed last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago